July 30, 2012-Santa Ana, CA-Southbound I-5 was closed all morning Saturday due to an
unusual “oil spill” on the highway.
California Highway Patrol reports that around 6:00 a.m., a large truck carrying boxes of
canola cooking oil dropped its cargo across the highway near Southbound 55, spilling
gallons of the oil across the highway.
Apparently not realizing that the oil had been spilled, the truck driver kept traveling,
leaving behind the slick mess that other drivers quickly plowed into, skidding off the
road and onto medians and shoulders.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the accidents, although several cars were
damaged. Caltrans soon arrived with super absorbent substances to soak up the oil.
However, lanes remained closed and traffic clogged the freeways until at least 10:30 a.m.
My sincere wishes for a speedy recovery to any of the victims who suffered minor
injuries, and my congratulations to all the drivers on avoiding serious injury.
Spills with large trucks are not uncommon on our highways. According to the United
States Department of Transportation, in 2007 there were 2,250 dangerous spills on
highways as opposed to only a handful in the air, on the water, and by rail combined.
Transporting goods by highway remains the most potentially dangerous way of moving
dangerous materials because of the crowded conditions of most roads and the potential for
What Happened In This Accident
Fortunately, this accident seems more comical than frightening. Although the potential
for serious injury was present, only minor injuries and some property damage resulted.
However, when considering the potential for a very serious and dangerous situation, this
accident becomes far more sobering. If the substance on this truck had been a hazardous
chemical or dangerous material, this accident could have resulted in numerous injuries
and even deaths. The area around this very busy intersection could have been shut down
for a long period of time, strangling traffic patterns in Orange County. The potential
for serious damage and loss is very high.
The truck driver may have liability for this accident if the spill was caused by his or
her negligence. However, the owner of the cargo may also have liability, as well as the
people who loaded the truck in such a way that the spill occurred. The State of
California or City of Santa Ana may also be liable if it can be shown that something in
the roadway caused the spill.
If you encounter a situation that results in an accident due to someone else’s
negligence, you need to call Santa Ana Truck Accident Lawyers at 800-561-4831. We
have over 30 years of experience in the complex California truck laws and can send
investigators out in as little as an hour to the scene of the truck accident in Santa
Ana. We’re here to help.